- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Several D.C. Council members said yesterday that they will fight large raises for administrators at the University of the District of Columbia unless faculty also receive pay increases.

D.C. Council member Kevin Chavous, Ward 7 Democrat, said he wants to see the contract negotiations for faculty raises and for a buyout option settled before he’ll agree to approve a 6.4 percent increase for administration officials.

“In terms of equity, I would like to see the faculty contract and the buyout option that they’re discussing taken care of first. And I’ve talked to President Pollard, and he has committed to come up with a plan to take care of that,” said Mr. Chavous, chairman of the council’s education committee, referring to UDC President William L. Pollard.

Council member Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, said he has made up his mind to vote against the raises despite his support for Mr. Pollard.

“I like Mr. Pollard and support what he’s trying to do … but we want to see the teachers get a raise first,” Mr. Fenty said.

The Washington Times reported last week that the university’s board of trustees voted unanimously to give the school’s highest-paid administrators a 6.4 percent pay raise retroactive to October.

The raise, which must be authorized by the D.C. Council, would benefit the university’s nonunion employees, including the new executive management team recently brought aboard by Mr. Pollard. The board recommended the pay increase late Tuesday.

The Times also reported that students and faculty members who recently rejected a 1 percent pay increase, threatened to take part in intermittent strikes in the fall to protest the pay raise.

Mr. Chavous, whose committee oversees UDC, said the faculty has not received a raise in nearly five years, while other staffers, including administration and security officers, have. He said he would urge his colleagues to take up his position in favor of reasonable faculty increases.

Council member Carol Schwartz told The Times in a previous interview that she would support a raise for the nonunion hourly workers and education-support staff but not for the highly paid administrators.

“I am very displeased with the board of trustees’ approval of any salary increase for these high-level people who are already overpaid,” said Mrs. Schwartz, at-large Republican.

Council members David A. Catania, at-large Republican, and Vincent B. Orange, Ward 5 Democrat, said they need more information about how the raises would be distributed among nonunion workers before they take a position.

Democratic council members Linda W. Cropp, chairman at-large; Sharon Ambrose, Ward 6; Sandy Allen, Ward 8; Jack Evans, Ward 2; and Phil Mendelson, at-large, were not available for comment.

Democratic Council members Kathy Patterson, Ward 3; Jim Graham, Ward 1; and Harold Brazil, at-large, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The board’s vote has inflamed the university’s staff and faculty discontent with Mr. Pollard, who took the helm a year ago. Some criticized the favoritism he has shown his high-paid administrators by offering them pay raises and not increasing union workers’ pay nor spending on academic programs.

UDC is the only public institution of higher education in the District. It was chartered in 1974 as an urban land-grant institution with an open admissions policy. As of 2002, the university had an enrollment of 5,300 students and a staff of 225 teachers for a nearly 24-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

The university has 11 employees who earn more than $100,000. Each of them would receive the 6.4 percent raise, including recently hired Vice President for Public Safety Robert T. Robinson, who earns $128,095 a year, and Executive Vice President Ernest L. Jolly, who earns $131,080 a year.

The Times first reported in April the proliferation in six-figure salaries in the D.C. government. The District, with 572,000 residents, has more city government workers earning $100,00-plus salaries than Chicago, with nearly 3 million residents, and Baltimore, with 651,000 residents.

Of the District’s 34,000 city employees, more than 575 make more than $100,000 a year. In comparison, 419 of Chicago’s 40,000 city workers and 33 of Baltimore’s 15,000 city workers make that much.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide